Cell-cell and cell-extra-cellular matrix (ECM) adhesion are complex, highly regulated processes that play a crucial role in most fundamental cellular functions including motility, proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. Focal adhesions are major cellular sites responsible for cell-ECM attachment and adhesion-mediated signalling.
These complex multimolecular assemblies consist of transmembrane integrin receptors that are linked to the actin cytoskeleton via cytoplasmic anchor proteins, such as vinculin, paxillin and focal adhesion kinase. To study the function behind molecular arrangement of single integrins in cell adhesion, we will design rigid template of cell adhesive gold nano-dots coated with cyclic RGDfK peptide by lithographic means of diblock co polymer self-assembly.
The diameter of the adhesive dots is smaller 8 nm, which allows the binding of only up to one integrin per dot. These dots are positioned with high precision on a molecular scale at a controllable separation distance between 10-150 n m in different but defined pattern geometries.
Because the dots may only be occupied by up to one integrin the dot pattern also resembles the integrin pattern in focal adhesions. We will study how the chemical nanoadhesive template effects cell spreading and shape, adhesion forces and expression of Fibronectin and Collagen.
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